Third place in the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Stages Rally yesterday saw Owen Murphy take maximum points in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Historic Championship. With Anthony Nestor on the pace notes, Murphy was driving the iconic ex-Russell Brookes Sunbeam Lotus and despite being hampered by a misfire for most of the day, he set some excellent times on the seven stage event. With the top two finishers Ryan Barrett & Melvyn Evans not registered for the series
Murphy took full advantage and is the early leader of the championship. Andy Johnson & Jim McSherry took fifth place in their fabulous Vauxhall Chevette HSR and move into second place in the championship. They finished third overall on last year’s series, while Shawn Rayner & Declan Dear from England are third in the championship after an excellent sixth place in their Escort. Completing the top five after the opening round are Barry Jones (Escort) and Duncan Williams (Escort). Amongst the notable retirements were Stanley Orr and Alan Watkins both in Ford Escorts.
Reigning Young Rally Driver of the Year, local ace Rob Duggan, scored a narrow victory over Jack Newman in the Modified class, both driving Escorts. Seven times Circuit of Ireland winner Jimmy McRae showed that he has lost none of his fire by winning the Post-Historic section in a Vauxhall Firenza, while Ryan Barrett and Paul McCann from Omagh were best in the Classic section in an Escort, beating Welshman Melvyn Evans in a similar car.
The next round takes place in February with the Galway International Rally.
Provisional Points after Round 1;
1 – Owen Murphy 17
2 – Andy Johnson 14
3 – Shawn Rayner 12
4 – Barry Jones 10
5 – Duncan Williams 8